Staycations Did Boom

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings

Tourism South East, the body responsible for tourism in the south east of England that covers not only the south east but Oxfordshire as well, has been investigating whether the staycation really happened and how big it was. Figures from a number of other sources have shown that overseas holidays were down on 2008 but information on people who holidayed at home (the staycation as it has become known) has been largely hearsay.

Visit England has shown that in July this year, and remember how wet it was, domestic holidays were up by nearly a quarter over the previous year. In the south east they were about the same. But in the main summer season of July to September, research by Tourism South East says that 40% of businesses in their area claimed an improved summer over 2008. Holiday parks, campsites, caravan parks and attractions all enjoyed better business but has it meant an increase in money? That may not be the case because it looks as though we may be being more cautious with our money. Echoing something said by the owner of Ripley Castle in Yorkshire, Sir Thomas Ingilby (see CD-Traveller 3 July 2009) it looks as though people are buying smaller gifts and more practical ones rather than expensive or overpriced ones. It certainly looks as though we want our money’s worth.

Dr Parves Khan of Tourism South East reports that bookings for 2010 look to be up over this year and one group, Park Holidays UK, claims their bookings are up by two thirds.

So where does that leave us for next year? Are we still going to find bargains if we stay at home? Will we want to stay at home after all the rain we’ve had this year? Will many of us just forget the cost and go abroad to find some dry and sunny weather? And the answers to all of those questions are what the domestic travel industry would dearly love to know.


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